For years, I was convinced that I wanted to be a YA librarian. And as much as I love YA books and our fledgling Teen Advisory Group, and the possibility of teen video game programs at my library (DDR tournament! This February!)… I have come to the conclusion that I love kids’ books too much to give them up altogether.
Case in point: yesterday, I discovered Mog Time: Six Stories About Mog in the new books. I was thrilled, and left it out on the kids reference desk where we usually leave journals and other news-y things to be browsed through. (And no, I still haven’t forgiven Judith Kerr for Goodbye Mog.)
However, that being said, it’s usually hard to get too excited about beginning readers, especially the very early ones, the two or three word per page sort. But not if they’re beginning readers by Mo Willems! Yes! If you know kids’ picture books, he’s the Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus guy! (How much do I want my own talking pigeon?)
If you go and check out his books, you will find a series about Elephant and Piggie. In My Friend is Sad, Piggie tries to cheer up Elephant by surprising him dressed up as cool things, like a cowboy and a giant robot, but what Elephant needs most is his best friend! (And new glasses.) Today I Will Fly! is a story about how Piggie wants to fly, despite Elephant’s misgivings.
First of all, all four books in the series have titles that end in exclamation marks! The characters are deceptively simple line drawings, but like the notorious Pigeon, are amazingly endearing and expressive in their simplicity. And the plot, as straightforward as the art style, will make anyone smile.
Mo Willems is truly excellent. (And so are Elephant and Piggie!)